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4c Pan-American

Sold for: $260,000
Estimate: $550,000

This multiple ranks as one of the greatest rarities in U.S. philately. That such a multiple exists, particularly being an imprint and plate number multiple of one of the rarest and most popular of all US inverts, is most remarkable.

It is one of only two plate number multiples extant of the Four Cent Pan-American Invert. The other is a bottom-margin partial imprint and plate no. 1145 block of four, with similar centering and traces of original gum. That exceptional block was sold in 1998 and was acquired by Pimco's Chief Investment Officer Bill Gross, and it is unlikely that multiple will be sold any time soon. The Cunliffe strip of four is equally impressive and is unique as a full imprint and plate number multiple.

Photo Courtesy: Spink Shreves Galleries